English FA link will boost coaching levels

Cayman football coaches will reach a higher level soon after coming to an agreement with the English Football Association.

The Cayman Islands and the English Football Associations have agreed to a request made by CIFA President Jeffrey Webb to form a new partnership aimed at improving and standardising the quality of Cayman Football coaches.

Webb said: ‘As President of CIFA I have identified the development of a Coaching Education Program as a top priority.

‘The proposed partnership with the English FA is an important step forward for Cayman football. I have worked closely at FIFA with the English FA for many years now, originally with Sir Bert Millichip, and former Chairman Geoffrey Thompson, with whom I initiated this program.’

‘This program has the full support of the English FA under the leadership of the new Chairman, Lord Triesman and we hope that this venture will mark the start of a fruitful relationship between the two countries.’

This partnership is the first of its kind and will see the creation of a sustainable coaching education program in Cayman.

The FA has appointed Robin Russell to work with CIFA on this project in the role of Football Development Consultant.

Over the past year Russell has been working closely with CIFA developing a new ‘C’ Coaching License which follows the established UEFA model.

Russell’s credentials are impeccable. He worked for the English FA from 1978 to 2005 when he left to establish Sports Path International Limited – the world’s leading provider of sports e-learning.

He was also responsible for the launch of the FA Coaches Association and the UEFA Pro License Course.

Russell has written a number of books and papers on the subject of coaching and was awarded a Fellowship of the British Physical Education Association in 1996.

Chuck Blazer, General Secretary of CONCACAF and Member of the FIFA Executive Committee commended CIFA, and in particular Webb, for the initiative in partnership with the FA.

Blazer said: ‘I know that this program will lead to ground breaking accomplishments. These methods represent new ways to communicate, to educate and to develop football. I congratulate the CIFA on taking these major steps.’

CIFA is planning on using Russell’s experience to establish their own Coaches Association to be launched alongside the ‘C’ License and which will provide support for the new program and its students.

The new License and Coaches Association is just the latest in a long line of initiatives being established by CIFA with the aim of improving the facilities and development of its national sport. By building ties such as this with a foreign Association, it is hoped that we will gain long term benefits in the education and professional development of our players, with particular emphasis on the youth.

‘The FA is pleased to play a part in raising the standards of coaching in the Cayman Islands, as an extension of our long-standing development programme for CONCACAF’, said the FA’s Head of International Relations, Jane Bateman.

‘We are very proud of our online learning program, which is already very successful in our own country.

‘We hope that this work with the Cayman Islands FA will form the foundations of an extended FA online learning programme within CONCACAF in the future.

‘Our thanks go to Jeffrey Webb and his team for making this new partnership possible, and to the expertise of our consultant Robin Russell in taking it forward.’

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